Former West Indian paceman Ian Bishop has opened up on how the IPL has changed his countrymen’s lives. The advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has indeed changed the face of cricket in several ways. While it has challenged the existence of Test cricket, for many cricketers, it has helped their livelihoods in ways that few can imagine. In a candid chat with Pommie MBangwa, Ian Bishop has iterated the positive impacts of IPL on the Caribbean players.
The West Indian players are one of the most active players in not only the IPL but in T20 leagues around the globe. The likes of Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell Chris Gayle, and Dwayne Bravo have turned into some of the hottest free agents of the shortest format and found unparalleled success. A massive reason is a higher pay grade that they do not receive from the West Indies’ cricket board.
Ian Bishop was critical of the West Indian cricket board of not handling their players’ requirements well enough due to which they lost a lot of prominent cricketers. Bishop direly wished that the likes of Bravo, Russell, and Gayle would have had cordial relationships with the board and played more for the national team.
“In the West Indies initially, there was a bad effect on the game since the administrators did not know the value of T20 cricket and the ability of a player as a sole contractor where they had to choose when they wanted to play. We did not handle that well. We lost a few significant players from West Indies cricket for a period of time I wish did not happen,” the cricketer-turned commentator stated.
He also identified that the England Cricket Board are realising the need to allow their players to play in the IPL unlike the old days. He added by saying that by losing so many essential players, the West Indies have suffered a slight setback.
“And it’s only now when we see England allowing their players to go and play in the IPL. The West Indies have taken a different view now under their leadership that they need to allow their players to earn their living but when they were available, we will have a compromise. But we have missed so many important players. I think it’s set back West Indies cricket a little bit,” the 52-year old asserted.
“It pleases me no end” : Ian Bishop
At the same time, the former fast bowler felt extremely relieved to know that the players and their families’ were secure due to the handsome paycheque they receive. Ian Bishop conceded that it pleases him to see them and their families’ future financially stable.
“But I’m never going to be envious of what a player is now able to earn and secure his financial future. I have seen the Bravos, the Pollards, and the Narines. While they have not played for the West Indies as much, which is something I wish would not have happened. But I am happy to see these young guys having such security for their future and family. It pleases me no end,” the Trinidadian added.